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Previously considered a distinct family placed on occasion in "Kinosternoidea", it was later moved to the Emydidae. With the Geoemydidae being split off from these, it seems wisest to reinstate the Platysternidae.[editorializing] This, as well as the subfamily and the genus Platysternon, are monotypic.
The big-headed turtle is known to readily climb over obstacles in and around rivers and fast streams, using its tail as a prop to extend the reach of its strong claws; it also uses its beak to assist in climbing. It has been reported to climb trees and bushes. It is not a strong swimmer, and when swimming, this species occasionally arches its tail in the manner of a scorpion. The big-headed turtle cannot pull its head in its shell. That being the case, it will not hesitate to use its powerful jaws to defend itself. It is a fish and snail eater.
The big-headed turtle is readily consumed in Asia and is frequently a market item. Hunters capture them on lines with baited straight pins, so this species is rapidly disappearing in the wild.
- P. m. megacephalum, China, 1831
- P. m. peguense, Myanmar and Thailand, 1870
- P. m. shiui, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, 1987
In addition, two other subspecies, P. m. tristernalis (1984) and P. m. vogeli (1969), have been given, but may be invalid.
- Asian Turtle Trade Working Group 2000. Platysternon megacephalum. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Archived June 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Downloaded 29 July 2007.
- Rhodin 2010, pp. 000.107
- Fritz, Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 264–265. ISSN 1864-5755. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- Kirkpatrick, David T. 1995. Platysternon megacephalum. Reptile & Amphibian Magazine, November/December 1995, pages 40 – 47. C/R. Archived May 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- James E. Barzyk Turtles in Crisis: The Asian Food Markets. The article itself is not dated, but mostly refers to data in the range 1995-2000.
- Platysternon megacephalum Archived May 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- * Pritchard, D. 1979. Encyclopedia of Turtles. New Jersey: T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Ltd.
- Rhodin, Anders G.J.; Paul van Dijk, Peter; Iverson, John B.; Shaffer, H. Bradley (2010-12-14). "Turtles of the World 2010 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution and Conservation Status" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- Fritz, Uwe; Havaš, Peter (2007-10-31). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2010-12-29.